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Mali Trip Pictures (Page 1 of 2) from May 25 to June 08, 2008

To proceed to Mali Pictures Page 2 or Mali Journal.

Our Route through MALI. Covered approx. 3400km on the motorcycles, of which 1100 were dirt/sand.

May 25, 2008. We enter Mali at the Faramara Border Post from Burkina Fasa and...

...arrive in DJENNE just in time for a massive sand storm to hit us.

These pictures were taken from the roof top of our Auberge. The before picture...

... and the after picture.

Here we can still see the mosque in the background...

...and then it disappears and the sun is swallowed up by sand clouds.

After a couple of hours the storm has moved on & the locals return outside.

We slept on the roof top of the Chez Baba as it is too hot to sleep inside.

May 26, 2008. At 7am our guide "the teacher" picks us up & ...

...we start wandering through tiny alley ways. This is the first Moroccan house built in Djenne.

Typical example of a Moroccan style window.

Goats, cows and donkeys live among the locals.

Djenne is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We walk past several madrassas, which are schools where young children learn the Qur'an.

Houses are built out of mud and straw.

Every year before the rainy season, which starts in June and ends in September,...

... locals repair their houses with this mud.

An example of mud/straw bricks to build houses.

The upkeep of these mud houses is never ending, as the rain slowly washes away the mud.

The house of the traditional chief.

Across from this well maintained house is ...

... a water well. There is no piping to take care of the sewer, it all runs down the middle of the streets.

These wooden carts are used to haul material and goods.

Children are playing in the dust,...

...feet, hands and faces...

...covered in mud...

...all along smiling and reaching for our hands.

We purchase a bogolan (mud-cloth) from Pama Sinatoa.

More household animals living in midst of the houses.

Without maintenance these mud brick houses deteriorate.

Locals use this substance called Gum Arabic to wash clothes.

It comes from a tree.

We enter the market area. Ruby purchases some breakfast.

In every country we try the food in the food stalls.

We get our first view of the largest mud-built structure in the World.

The Djenne Mosque.

Locals are setting up for the best market in Africa (our opinion).

Every Monday the sleepy settlement of Djenne hosts one of the most impressive markets.

On the roof top of someone's home we get a better look at the mosque & market.

At a female madrassa we are shown a verse from the Qur'an written on a wooden board.

One of the entrances to the Mosque.

Another entrance.

Main entrance to the mosque.

Thousands of these fish (burnt fish as Mike calls them) are sold at the market.

A closer look at the fish.

Goats are being sold here.

This is a typical picture of an African woman carrying her child on the back...

...and other products on her head.

Locals selling melons.

The women in this area of Mali have their mouths tattooed black as seen here.

By 11am the empty area is now covered by stalls.

We get on the roof top of another house directly opposite the mosque...

...and in full view of the market.

Here we are able to watch people go about their day to day business.

The energy, vibrancy and smells are difficult to explain unless experienced yourself.

Thousands of people gather every week for this one day.

Women in their colorful clothes bartering.

This picture alone has a range of items being sold.

Every square inch is taken up by some type of product for sale.

Ruby, the mosque and the market.

Bread for sale.

The people are so very colorful.

We spent hours in awe, the camera clicking away.

We will not forget this day.

A local woman cooking lunch on the roof top.

Fresh peanuts and peppers.

We have not figured out this yet.

A local woman trying to shade herself from the sun.

Each picture is unique showing people and customs so very different from what we know in the Western World.

Rice and melons are sold here.

This alley mostly sells fruit.

It is melon season and these yellow melons can be found everywhere.

We venture into the midst of the market.

It does not get any better than this.

May 27, 2008. We leave Djenne at sun rise and detour to another World Heritage Site.

The entrance door to the Tomb of Saints Almany Nabo and Almany Kontao.

We pull up to the ferry at 6:30am...

...but it is not yet in operation. Locals make their way through. Too deep for the motorcycles.

By 7am the ferry takes us across the river.

From Djenne we ride to Sangha in the DOGON VALLEY and stay at the Hotel Femme Dogon.

Sleeping yet again on the roof top, as temperatures climb into the high 40Deg Celsius. Night temperature high 30's.

The turtles did not seem to mind the heat.

They were part of the scenery.

Close up of the turtle.

Late afternoon we take guided tour of Sangha. The important Baobab tree.

From the roof top of a house we get a better appreciation ...

...of the Sangha Ogol do section.

Drums used during festive rituals.

Beautiful carved wooden doors can be found almost at every house entrance.

Our first stop is the local hospital (Gina). The healing process is based on fetishes.

The house of women. Women spent (5) days isolated from their family at this house while having their period.

The Togina (meeting place), the structure is only about 1m high and the roof is covered by at least 2m of straw.

The hunter%u2019s house.

Today the tomb of the hunter.

Another unique carved wooden door.

Personal belongings of the hunter...

...are displayed on the outside of the building.

These type of doors can be found at almost every house entrance.

At this point we had picked up...

...numerous children all fighting for our hands.

Children here do not ask for money, (sometimes candy),...

...they are just happy to be walking along with you.

The Hogan House.

The old man living here is like the Wiseman of the town, he does not ever leave this compound.

The towns large fetish (called Lebe).

This is Kola, given to the elders of the towns. It is a nut that tastes quite horrible and is supposed to suppress hunger.